VALLEY — Prescription medications play an important role in the health of millions of Americans. However, expired medications or unused drugs often stay in the back of cabinets for months or even years. These expired drugs can pose significant health hazards to toddlers, teens, and even family pets who may inadvertently consume medications. Some medications are so potent that even one dose could be fatal if accidentally ingested.
There are other important safety issues: misuse of prescription narcotic drugs (opioids) is a major public health concern. In fact, over 115 people die each day from opioid (narcotic) overdoses. Death from prescription opioids, drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, have increased fourfold since 1999, as noted by the CDC.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses this crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Costilla County will celebrate the grand opening of their new Safe Disposal Box on Saturday, April 28th from 9-11 a.m. at the Food Commodities Office, 105 Gaspar Street in San Luis. Join us for refreshments and up to date information. Bring unused medications to dispose in the new Safe Disposal box.
Other safe disposal sites include the Alamosa Sheriff’s Department in Alamosa, La Jara Health Mart Pharmacy, Monte Vista Police Department, South Fork Police Department, Valley Wide Health Systems Pharmacy in Alamosa and SLV Behavioral Health Group in Alamosa. Look for these green boxes. Just dispose your meds, no questions asked. Call Charlotte Ledonne, SLV AHEC, at 589-4977.